ms mr

An Evolution

As we've have become more confident musicians and writers, we've stripped back some of the fog that surrounds the music.

After your Secondhand Rapture release in 2013 through to 2016’s How Does It Feel, would you say there has been a straight line evolution in your sound or a clearly defined break and change in direction?

It’s definitely been an evolution for us, although hardly a straight line. We learned a lot from five years on the road touring Secondhand Rapture, and we tried to integrate the things we learned from the live show into the writing process. As we’ve become more confident musicians and writers, we’ve stripped back some of the fog that surrounds the music, in terms of reverb in production and metaphor in the lyrics so everything hits a bit harder and is more emotionally direct.

Your video clips are diverse as they are engaging. Do you enter each of these with a clear, pre conceived storyboard or hand over a loose collection of ideas to a producer that slowly get fleshed out?

We usually have a pretty clear initial concept for a video that we flesh out with the director we’re working with.

Art is such a strong element in your overall work, are there times when your music is solely driven by an artistic vision and it plays a supporting role to a visual concept that dawned upon you?

The music is almost always the impulse - we really keep the visual side out of the studio as we’re writing, although we’re always experimenting with new processes and could see ourselves using a more visual idea as the jumping off point for a song or album in the future.

Meeting so many different musicians and interesting characters throughout the years, were there any words of wisdom spoken to you that really resonated with you and altered the way you approach your music?

We’ve been lucky enough to have both our records mixed by the master mix engineer Tom Elmhirst, who has mixed some of our favourite records of all time. He approaches music completely emotionally - we’ve been incredibly inspired by that approach, so trying to keep other opinions and considerations outside of the writing process has become a central part of our project.

You will be in Australia shortly to play Groovin In The Moo as well as some side shows. Do you adjust your set list when playing a festival or treat it as you would any other show?

We try and keep the festival set list as up tempo as possible - there are a few ballads that we love and always play, but when people are raging we try and give them the most energetic performance we can.

Are there any other artists on the line-up of Groovin The Moo that you’re excited to be sharing the stage with?

We’re pumped to dance to Ratatat!

What are you looking forward to most about returning to Australia?

We can’t wait to go back to Perth - we visited a few years ago when we played Laneway but haven’t had a chance to go again until this trip!

Do you find touring to be inspirational whereby it helps you write and create more material or are you so focused on the task at hand that writing and creating new material takes a back seat?

They’re really separate processes for us; it’s hard to find the time and energy to write when we’re in the touring mindset.

What does the rest of 2016 have install for MS MR?

We have one more tour opening for Bloc Party, then the occasional show over the rest of the year while we focus on other projects and try to get back in touch with our creative selves!

Interview originally conducted and published for AMNplify